According to this article what three things do millennial’s want in regards to the American dream? Please write an argumentative
paragraph addressing the question. Be sure to include a thesis statement
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What Does the American Dream Mean for
Do millennials want a house with a white picket fence? The American dream
may be changing.
aryalene LaPonsie, Contributor |Oct. 13, 2016, at 10:26 a.m.
When asked to define the A
merican dream, Laura Judge has to take a minute to think. “I
think of someone overcoming great obstacles,” the 32-year-old resident of Lowell,
Michigan, finally says.
It’s not a term she would use for herself or any of her friends, either. Rather than having
to pull herself up by the bootstraps – as she envisions those living the American dream
must – Judge says, “I feel like I’m very blessed and have a lot.”
Rebekah Casper, 22, is another millennial who doesn’t think the term is particularly
relevant to her life. “I haven’t heard that term in a long time,” says the Brookston, Indiana,
resident. “It’s something older people use.”
Replacing the white picket fence. The American dream, as it’s traditionally understood,
refers to the idea that all people have the opportunity for success and prosperity in the
U.S. It’s often characterized as having a stable, w
ell-paying job and a house with a white
picket fence out front.
Millennials aren’t foregoing these things completely, but they are taking a different
approach. “Young people still want to own a house, but not right out of college,” says
Benjamin Lupu, a baby boomer and owner of finance firm Kensington A.M.I. in Burbank,
California. “They want stable employment, but on their own terms.” For that, Lupu sees
millennials turning to freelancing and entrepreneurial pursuits to earn income.
Chantel Bonneau, a millennial and wealth management advisor with Northwestern
Mutual, says a main difference between generations may be the emphasis young adults
place on having a fulfilling job. “Millennials really think a satisfying career is a part of the
American dream more than anything else,” she says.
Changing priorities. That focus on career satisfaction may reflect the fact many young
adults are pursuing a college degree. “When you spend that much effort on schooling, a
lot of my friends [say] ‘I don’t even want to think about not using my education,'” Casper
Judge has seen a similar phenomenon. While she married at age 23 and currently has
three children, she says many people in her circle of friends are only just now settling
down and starting families. “I was by far the youngest in my core group of friends to
have kids,” Judge says. “[Other] people put their careers first and that isn’t a bad thing.”
Even those who aren’t career-minded may feel they have no choice but to delay the start
of a family. Nearly 70 percent of college seniors graduated with student loan debt in
2014, according to The Institute for College Access and Success. On average, those
students owed $28,950, an amount that may feel overwhelming given the low starting
salariesassociated with some four-year degrees. The average starting salary for a
psychology major from the class of 2015 was $35,108 while an English major brought in
a mere $34,702 on average, according to the National Association of Colleges and
From where Bonneau stands, it’s not that the basics of the A
merican dream have
changed for millennials. They still want a house, a family and a good job, but “the order
in which those things happen is changing.”
Not every millennial is delaying family. While the average age of first marriages has
climbed to 27 for women and 29 for men, according to 2015 Census Bureau data, not
every millennial fits the mold of the single 20-something. Both Judge and Casper were
married and started families in their early 20s. “I’ve always wanted to be a mom,” Judge
says. Although supportive of her friends who have chosen other paths, climbing the
corporate ladder was never on her list of priorities. “It’s not my American dream,” she
Casper has similar ideas. “My American dream is to raise my kids and support my
husband,” she says. “If I raise good children who are successful and my husband is
successful, then I’m successful.”
That mentality is a far cry from the more colorful stereotypes some might have of
millennials – such as that of the unencumbered 30-year-old who is launching an internet
start-up in his parents’ basement. The reality is that while some millennials are choosing
a different route to reach happiness, the younger generation tends to share the same
core goals as the preceding generations. “Everyone wants to assault traditional ideas
because that’s what gets headlines,” Lupu says. “But the American dream is very much
According to this article what three things do millenials want in regards to the american dream?
Please write an argumentative paragraph addressing the question. Be sure to include a thesis
statement and three pieces of evidence in order to support your argument.
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